'Perilous' state of economy is biggest threat to SA's future: Maimane

SA leader Mmusi Maimane says urgent action is needed to halt the decline in the economy.
SA leader Mmusi Maimane says urgent action is needed to halt the decline in the economy.
Image: Trevor Samson

Immediate action is needed to rescue and reform the economy, the perilous state of  which remains the single biggest threat to the country’s future, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

Speaking after a meeting of the party’s federal executive in Johannesburg, Maimane said a tangible mood of fear existed throughout the country, with the vast majority of South Africans lacking hope in the future.

He warned that discontentment with the current downward spiral was "fast producing fertile soil for mass rebellion".

“We have no more time to kick the can down the road. We need immediate action,” the DA leader said, adding that in past months the conversation had moved from how to grow the economy to how to avoid total collapse.

“Despite this, there lacks both the requisite urgency and a bold reform plan from Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government. For the past 18 months Ramaphosa has occupied the presidency it has been business as usual, with an added dose of economic gimmicks in the form of summits, talk shops, roadshows.”

It appeared the country might just narrowly avoid another recession in 2019, Maimane added.

“As things stand, we are the closest we have been to complete, all round junk status since 1994.”

Investment was also plummeting at an alarming rate.

“There is no sign of any ‘green shoots’ in the economy, and instead of halting the decline, it appears Cyril Ramaphosa is exacerbating it. His open support for economically damaging policies such as expropriation without compensation, the National Minimum Wage, the National Health Insurance, and the Eskom monopoly – among many others – is proof that when it comes to the test, Cyril Ramaphosa is loyal to the ANC above all else,” Maimane said.